For far too long, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands have advertised on the shelf, combined with national campaigns. Outdated in-store advertising techniques, a lack of analytics, and no working system to guarantee or measure returns has left many brands stagnant. It’s even left a few behind. But some brands are moving forward, and consumers are moving even faster.

Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) digital ad spending is expected to grow to $22.5 billion next year, increasing by more than 16%. Of that total spend, 73% will be for mobile—and for good reason. In 2020, time spent on mobile devices increased by 14%, up to three hours and six minutes per person, per day.

Right now, CPG ad strategy doesn’t always reflect those trends. The majority of advertising budget spent on retail media—coupons, in-store signs, checkout-aisle displays, and on-the-shelf promotions—as well as retailer websites, retailer apps, and yes, Google ads. On any given day, the funnel for the spend to these channels ends without knowing what the return will be.  And brands continue to do it for one simple reason: it’s what they’ve always done.

But even as the majority of purchases continue to take place in-store, consumers are making digital a bigger part of the shopping process, and the way they shop has forever changed. If you want to reach consumers today, tomorrow, and into the future, you need to use digital and mobile media—and need to use them now. The good news? They’ll unlock benefits you never knew existed.

Connecting the customer journey

Most retail media networks aren’t just old or outdated—they’re fundamentally irrelevant. They can't connect to shoppers across their entire purchase journeys, and brands miss out more than anyone. They need a digital media network that gets closer to customers, connecting their purchase journeys into cohesive, interactive experiences, and engaging them at every step.

More importantly, brands need to allocate ad spend somewhere that ensures a return, somewhere that accurately measures and maximizes it. Turning to the right digital media network can help you reach shoppers in ways they haven’t before, enabling proven, digital advertising strategies that span the entire customer journey—and produce powerful results. Here’s what an end-to-end digital retail media network can enable brands to do:

Reach shoppers in a new way. It’s time to advertise to customers based on the way they shop, and the way they want to save. Digital media networks must connect online, in-app and in-store, meeting customers where they are, while tapping into a rapidly growing global industry. Engaging application interfaces, premium coupon placement, detailed brand benefits and email and social push notifications are just a few capabilities these networks should provide, delivering an entirely new digital toolbox to reach shoppers with.

Merchandise with digital content. Merchandising will always consist of in-store, on-the-shelf advertisements, but there’s more to it. The right retail advertising network breaks open access to a comprehensive digital engagement hub: promoted items, premium ads, video content, coupon placement, banner ads, and more. Locking in this ad space allows brands to promote products closer to the customer and closer to the point-of-sale in a more engaging way. This adds up to one key result: greater revenue generation and customer loyalty.

Amplify national campaigns. Brands are already spending ad dollars on multi-channel campaigns across the country, and maybe even around the world. Retail media networks allow brands another platform to spread their message—and reach—in a more effective, efficient way. While Google ads and pop-up banners read as spam, in-app promotions and other native content are more valuable, reliable digital real estate—and they’re more likely to result in purchases. The endgame? More touchpoints, more effective campaigns, and more ROI.

Improve personalization. The way to consumers isn’t just digitization, it’s personalized experiences. With a digital media network, brands can run campaigns on the individual level, sending shoppers customized, relevant offers that pose greater value to them, and ramp up their rate and volume of purchase.

Automate targeting and analytics. A robust digital media network connected to POS means data collection is automatic and integrated. It’s not just a capability brands didn’t have before, it’s more precise and connected than alternative solutions. The right retail media platform runs on leading-edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), providing powerful data visibility, identifying purchase patterns, and enabling more accurate predictions. Automatically measure and analyze campaign performances down to the barcode level, and easily fine tune-programs to maximize returns.

Unlock closed-loop reporting. Brands measure ad effectiveness based on sales-related metrics. Best-in-class reporting capabilities can help nail down those numbers, and start bringing them up. Report on a range of metrics: campaign products GMV, campaign products incremental GMV, campaign attributed purchase GMV, return on ad spend, incremental return on ad spend, and the like. These metrics require measuring all the touchpoints along the shopper’s purchase journey, and it’s a capability likely never had before on a regular basis. With an end-to-end digital media network, brands can track impressions, clicks, coupon clip rate, product sales, and more, without lifting a finger. The automated reporting is built-in—how you leverage it to increase results is up to you. It will be even more important to have closed-loop, first party data as privacy restrictions and customer expectations rise.

Measure and maximize returns. By now, brands get the point: they don’t know what current ad spend returns are, and that’s a problem. Digital media offers a simple solution to spending where you know you won’t just get a return, but an accurate one. Know exactly what was spent, how it was executed, and exactly what you got in return. After all, understanding where your brands is at is the best first step to moving forwards.

Gain a new customer network. In addition to reaching existing customers in new ways, digital retail media networks open doors to reach new customers. A certain percentage of shoppers only use digital solutions—and another percentage live entirely on mobile. Adopting these channels allows you to finally reach them, bringing you a new audience, a new space to tell your story, and a new way to build loyalty—moving more product, to more people, in more places.

Boost your brand experience. With a digital media network, you own all the share of voice, and you retain total control of how it’s used. Customize your landing page and brand presentation and allow shoppers to feel the difference in authenticity. As press releases, item promotions, and digital platform-related news come out, your brand reaps the benefits in exposure.

Take over the category. To put it simply, digital retail media platforms are creating a new category and taking it over at the same time—and brands must be a part of it. Join the revolution and impact imagery, products, and offerings on the pages of the platform, becoming the first in the category and the industry-leader all at once.

Swiftly-powered retail media networks unlock all this and more, enabling America's leading CPG brands to influence consumers across their shopping journeys—and providing the reporting needed to drive high-performing campaigns. Swiftly partners generate 40% more trips to the store and more than 10% increases in same-store sales. Get on board and reap the revenue. For more information, contact Swiftly today.